Subject: Sperm whales reproduction

Martine Berube (martine@sbs.bangor.ac.uk)
Mon, 22 Mar 1999 18:33:38 GMT

At 09.29 PM 18-03-1999 -0500, you wrote:
>is there any research on the environment of a sperm whale fetus, what
sensations the mother would experience, what behaviors (for instance limited
diving ability) the pregnant mother would exhibit, how quickly the fetus(if
that's the correct term) grows, what sorts of events would be harmful to the
fetus' survival.
>
>    thanks for any answers or sources

Dear Robert,

Your questions are very interesting but I am afraid you will have difficulty
to find answers. We now very little about whales in general and anything
about reproduction is still extremely limited. For the sperm whale, we know
that most whales mate during a specific season. The length of pregnancy
lasts between ten to twelve months. A female sperm whale carries her calf
for sixteen months. My only option is to try to contact Dr. Whitehead who is
an expert in sperm whales at http://www.dal.ca/~whitelab/index.htm.
Sorry and good luck,
Martine
Martine Berube
School of Biological Sciences 		    
University of Wales - Bangor                
Deiniol Road, Bangor 		
Gwynedd LL57 2UW 		
Wales, United Kingdom		
Phone 	+44 1 248 38 22 96
Fax     +44 1 248 38 28 25
E-mail: martine@sbs.bangor.ac.uk